A variety of chemicals are used at the University. Some of these are hazardous, posing a risk of injury or illness if not handled properly. There are two broad types of hazards associated with chemicals.

  1. Health effects - chemicals that have the potential to cause adverse health effects. Exposure can occur through inhalation, skin contact or ingestion. Health effects can be acute (short term) or chronic (long term). Typical acute health effects include headaches, nausea, vomiting and skin damage while chronic health effects can include asthma, dermatitis, nerve damage or cancer.
  2. Physiochemical effects – physical and chemical properties that pose a risk to workers other than health hazards. For example, chemicals that are explosive, flammable or likely to react dangerously under particular conditions.

Chemical Safety Standard

The University has Chemical safety standards which describes minimum performance standards to ensure that University faculties, schools, research institutes and individual research groups apply a consistent approach to manage chemical risks associated with University activities. Compliance with performance standards is compulsory.

The Chemical Safety Standard gives effect to the Work Health & Safety Policy. Compliance with performance standards also assists the University to meet the specific requirements of the NSW Work Health & Safety Act and Regulation 2011.

Guidelines, infosheets and management tools are aimed at providing further information and support in meeting these legislative and safety requirements.

 Guidelines  Infosheets
Chemical infosheets
Introduction to the GHS   Cryogenic liquids
Chemical storage (soon to be released) Incompatible chemicals Hydrofluoric acid
  Dangerous goods depots Mercury (Spills)
Chemical labelling About ChemAlert Perchloric acid
Chemical waste   Picric acid
Working with carcinogens (soon to be released)    
Working with gases Using the gas risk calculator  

Need more information

Safety Health & Wellbeing acknowledges that the University carries out a broad range of activities and supports the application of a practical and risk-based approach to safety. If you are unsure how to comply with the chemical safety standards, please contact your WHS Adviser.